A number of organizations have halted or significantly curtailed their investments in preparedness measures over the past two years, which includes staffing and solutions investments. As the economy recovers and organizations rediscover their obligations specific to business continuity, how can those personnel with responsibility for business continuity build a business case for investment or reinvestment – time and funding?
Based on discussions with organizations in all industries and of all sizes, the top five drivers influencing executive action and investment are:
- Customer requirements
- Regulatory demands
- Risk tolerance
- Market differentiation needs
- ‘Standard of Care’ obligations
It’s not terribly difficult to collect customer expectations (talk to account managers and review contracts) or summarize regulatory requirements (perform on-line research, talk to industry associations or interview the general counsel). Risk tolerance, although somewhat difficult to describe, can be evaluated by presenting risk assessment and business impact analysis findings and seeking management feedback. But what about market differentiation or ‘standard of care’ obligations? That’s more difficult because organizations seldom publish or publicly-describe their level of investment in preparedness. That’s where benchmarking and research becomes so important.
“BC Management’s benchmarking studies were extremely helpful in comparing our BCM program to our competitors or other ‘like’ companies. We really appreciated all the help and wisdom and we were extremely grateful for their expertise. As a result, we were able to double our staff.”
– Director, Business Continuity (Healthcare)
Business Continuity Management Research Data Services
Beginning in 2001, BC Management Inc. (www.bcmanagement.com) initiated a process to collect data specific to staffing issues, and over time expanded their inquiries to business continuity management program performance. Now, with over nine years of experience in collecting business continuity management research data, BC Management formally launched an exceptionally cost-effective benchmarking and research service. The data used for organization-specific, customer-reporting is extracted from the annual study, and in 2009, this study received over 3,200 participants from over seventy countries!
Using the results of the survey, BC Management customizes benchmarking and research reports based on the requesting organization’s specific demographics to ensure a comparison to similar survey respondents. Beyond reports, BC Management’s clients may also elect to receive a business intelligence dashboard, which includes all the data filtered to their specific needs.
Using Benchmarking Data
Unlike other benchmarking surveys, the services offered by BC Management are customized to an organization’s unique needs. Business continuity professionals and others charged with improving preparedness are utilizing these customer reports and queries to gain a better understanding of what similar organizations are budgeting for preparedness, how many personnel are focused on this effort, and even where the preparedness function reports in the organization. Regardless of how your executive managers make decisions, this information can support the decision-making process and speed up the effort because it’s based on your organization, your industry and even your revenue level. Also, BC Management offers information on program activations, which supports risk assessment findings.
“I found BC Management’s benchmarking report to be quite valuable. It gave our organization a look behind the scenes on what our competitors are doing with their BCM programs in regards to budget, headcount, reporting structure as well as vendor utilization on an undisclosed, proprietary basis. To my knowledge, no one else is providing this type of service to assist in elevating the internal program planning efforts and the profession as a whole.”
– VP, Business Continuity (Financial Services)
If you’re an organization faced with the challenge of restarting your preparedness efforts or justifying continued investment, consider requesting a benchmarking demonstration by emailing BC Management at [email protected] or calling 888.250.7001
The services described in this perspective are helping organizations today. A wide-array of reports is available to fit any budget.
The Avalution Team
Avalution Consulting: Business Continuity Consulting